Contact: Heather Deaton
Phone: (903) 799-1306
Date: June 14, 2022
Thousands of people are killed every year by drunk drivers—1,061 in Texas last year. In the Atlanta District, there were 331 DUI-alcohol related crashes resulting in 23 deaths and 51 serious injuries.
In Texarkana last year, there were 48 DUI-alcohol related traffic crashes resulting in six serious injuries.
To show the real faces behind the statistics, TxDOT is launching its Faces of Drunk Driving summer campaign.
“These are real people whose deaths were 100 percent preventable, had it not been for a drunk driver,” said TxDOT executive director Marc Williams. “We hope these personal accounts from offenders and survivors wake people up to the consequences of drinking and driving. Always get a sober ride through a designated driver, taxi, rideshare app, or calling a friend—or simply stay where you are.”
Last year, 24 percent of all traffic deaths in Texas were caused by drunk driving. That translates to an average of one person dying every eight hours and 15 minutes. In 2021, Texas saw 25,261 drunk driving related traffic crashes.
“From 2020 to 2021, there was a nine percent increase in DUI-alcohol related traffic crashes in Texas. Over a thousand families were devastated because of impaired drivers on our roads,” said Atlanta District Engineer Buddy Williams. “Those crash victims were mothers, brothers and other loved ones. We’re pleading with people to not get behind the wheel if they’re impaired.”
The Faces of Drunk Driving campaign reminds us that the human toll of a drunk driving crash devastates the lives of survivors forever. Drinking and driving can have serious physical, emotional and financial consequences that can last for years. A DWI/DUI can be expensive and lead to legal hassles, difficulty finding or keeping a job, loss of trust from loved ones, and regret.
That’s why the Faces of Drunk Driving campaign also includes stories from people convicted of DWI/DUI. Richie tells his story about heading home after drinking at a friend’s house, losing control of his car and hitting a house. As a result, he spent 10 days in jail, was sentenced to a year probation, had to perform 150 hours of community service, pay fines and cover the costs of repairing the house. Richie says he also must face the fact that he is now a convicted felon.
This year’s campaign will feature events around the state to share stories of Texans who deal with the consequences of a drunk driving crash every day of their lives. Events will include an exhibit of powerful video testimonials. Full video stories and other impaired driving information can be found at Sober Rides.
The Faces of Drunk Driving summer campaign is an important piece of the larger Drive Sober. No Regrets. campaign. It is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel, like wearing a seat belt, driving the speed limit, never texting and driving and never driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Nov. 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways. #EndTheStreakTX asks all Texans to commit to driving safely to help end the streak of daily deaths on Texas roadways.
The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, maritime, rail, and public transportation across the state. Through collaboration and leadership, we deliver a safe, reliable, and integrated transportation system that enables the movement of people and goods. Find out more at TxDOT.gov. "Like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.